China inspires global green development with desert control experience

(Xinhua) 16:21, August 28, 2023

HOHHOT, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The China-Arab International Research Center on Drought, Desertification and Land Degradation was inaugurated Sunday during an international forum on desert control, showcasing China's commitment to sharing its expertise gained from the Kubuqi desert control.

The establishment of the research center was among the outcomes of the first China-Arab States Summit last year.

On Sunday, the center announced the launch of the first batch of projects. The initiatives include planting 10 billion trees, setting up a shrub nursery and building eco-solar desert control engineering projects in Saudi cities.

Nearly 300 participants from home and abroad, including foreign dignitaries, representatives from United Nations (UN) organizations and diplomats, attended the 9th Kubuqi International Desert Forum that concluded Sunday in the city of Ordos in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Inner Mongolia-based Elion Resources Group, a leading Chinese green industry enterprise, is among the Chinese partners involved in the China-Arab cooperation projects.

Addressing the forum, Wang Wenbiao, the company's chairman, said that the company would share its water-saving shrub seed cultivation technology which was developed through the desert-control experience in Kubuqi.

Kubuqi is the seventh-largest desert in China and also the desert closest to the national capital of Beijing.

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) honored Wang Wenbiao and five other inspirational environmental leaders with the Champions of the Earth Award for their efforts in the battle against desertification.

Through China-Arab cooperation, the company would also share its innovative photovoltaic plus sand-control technology, which combines photovoltaic power generation and modern agricultural development suitable for desert areas, Wang said. The company would also help build a photovoltaic and sand-control industrial park in Saudi Arabia, boasting a capacity of over 1 million kilowatts.

Khaled Abdullah Alabdulkader, CEO of the Saudi National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification, said the center had worked with Elion for a few months to select sites in Saudi Arabia.

"There is no place in the entire globe that has been so successful in greening a desert like in Kubuqi," said Erik Solheim, former executive director of the UNEP, speaking at the forum.

"The Kubuqi Desert Forum is a vital international platform to share knowledge and innovations to advance global land restoration efforts. I hope the Kubuqi example will inspire more countries to invest in degraded land and turn it into wellsprings of health and wealth," said Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, in a video speech delivered at the forum.

She said she made a field trip to the Ordos region of Inner Mongolia in June, where she witnessed for the first time the "remarkable, social, economic and ecological restoration and an inspiring example for the regions around the world strongly against land degrading, desertification and desert encroachment."

Since its inception in 2007, the forum has evolved into a crucial platform for nations to exchange experiences in combating desertification and to drive progress in the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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